Creating a Handfasting Ceremony for the Modern Couple
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A handfasting ceremony is a type of marriage tradition that evolved from Scottish Highlands culture. It involves a unique arrangement in which a couple stays together for a year and one day and then decides if they are truly compatible at the end of that time. Of course, if the couple had children then they could not separate. However, if at the end of the year, the couple decided to stay together of their own desires, then they would become a legally recognized married couple.
If you want to perform your own handfasting ceremony, you can. You just need a few different elements, such as these five:
- A priest or priestess – Only someone with ministerial ability can perform such a ceremony. Therefore, someone who you know can take the time to become a priest or a priestess, or you can visit your local congregation and ask someone to perform the ceremony for you.
- Scripts – The priest or priestess who performs the ceremony needs to know the various scripts that must be uttered over the course of the ceremony. These include greetings and an opening statement, a declaration of intent, an exchange of vows, a blessing of the rings, and closing words.
- Ribbons – During the course of the ceremony, the couple uses variously colored ribbons that each signify positive qualities that the partners want for each other and their union. The couple should read up on the meaning of the colors and choose applicable ones.
- Rings – Just like with a traditional wedding, a handfasting ceremony involves rings as well. These can be as lavish or as simple as you and your partner prefer. You may want to start with a simpler design for the handfasting ceremony and then upgrade when you become legally wed.
- A shared meal – After the ceremony, the couple celebrates with a meal that should include, according to the script, cake and ale. The priest will read the script and the couple should share this food with each other.